It may only be a glorified pre-season game, but already Newcastle are under pressure to bounce back against West Ham, following their mauling in the opening game against Wolves.

There are a number of mitigating factors to the game that make it one that should see Newcastle giving that little bit extra on the pitch.

Three of those are: impressing the new head coach, Steve Bruce, who will be watching from the stands; A need to show what they are made of following the dismal performance on Wednesday; proving to disgruntled fans back home that there is still hope.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

It will be interesting to see who gets a chance to start, but given the short recovery period between the games, it will likely be a much-changed side than the one that faced Wolves.

Paul Dummett to take over the captain’s armband

Paul Dummett was an unused substitute for the first game, and is almost certain to start the game against West Ham.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Lascelles played the first half of the game on Wednesday, and while it is not inconceivable that he may get a run out in the latter stages, he is sure to be on the bench from the start.

The result will see Paul Dummett skipper the side in his absence – at least until Lascelles makes an appearance.

Martin Dubravka likely to make a welcome return

The fan-favourite is likely to return to his rightful place between the posts for the final game of the tour.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

With rumblings about the Slovak keeper being unhappy at the club folowing Rafa Benitez’s departure, fans will be glad to see him back, regardless of how unfounded the speculation may have been.

He is unlikely to get a full 90 minutes, and it will be interesting to see which of Karl Darlow or Freddie Woodman comes in to replace him if he does not.


Both reserve keepers played a half against Wolves, and with Woodman in the final year of his contract, he will be hoping for more chances to impress in any game for Newcastle – pre-season or otherwise.

Niggle to striker could give Elias Sorensen his big chance

With Dwight Gayle omitted from the team-sheet for the first game due to a slight calf injury, he may well sit out the second game too, as a precaution.

If that is the case, it could hand youngster Elias Sorensen his big chance, and one that fans have been craving.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

The Dane came off the bench against Wolves and provided one of the only bright sparks of an otherwise dismal performance.

If he does play, puts in a good performance, and maybe bags a goal, it will give Bruce some questions to answer, as there would likely being a growing clamour for the talented young striker to be given a chance next season.

Yoshinori Muto looked poor in the first game as a lone striker, but if Gayle is left out again, he could get a second chance, but in the old Ayoze Perez role, just behind Sorensen.

The game may also see a return for Sean Longstaff against the same side that saw him pick up his season-ending injury last term, but any playing time for the in-demand academy graduate is likely to be brief.

Predicted lineup to face West Ham: Dubravka; Manquillo, Schar, Fernandez, Dummett; Murphy, Ki, Shelvey, Aarons; Muto, Sorensen.

Have something to tell us about this article?